Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Day The World Was Taken Over by 100 Calorie Snacks - Are They Worth it?

So are all those 100 calorie snacks inundating the supermarkets worth it? Well, yes and no. Yes because it is a nice way to enjoy some of your favorite foods in a small, portioned control version…and let’s face it staying on track with a tiny pouch of Milanos is way easier than cracking open the full sized version!

These small servings can also act as a startling wake-up call: “THIS is what a single serving looks like, are you joking me?!” The bad news is that many of these snacks are 1) super expensive and 2) are able to be devoured in about two bites.

The idea behind the 100 calorie craze is a sound theory, but typically the varieties are of chips, cookies, sweets, and other high calorie treats shrunk down to Munchin size. So that means that they will give you a nice taste of the foods but they probably won’t fill you up all that much. Cut to about three or four empty snack pouches littering your desk.

The other drawback is that often times faux foods, or ones that are the fat-free or sugar-free replacements, can cause you to eat more of them, both mentally and biologically. Mentally you can sometimes justify eating more because they are ‘fat-free’ but that doesn’t mean they are calorie-free or that because they are a few grams of fat less you can wolf them down by the truckload. Chemically these foods are also broken down differently by the body and can cause some whacky brain signals to be sent to your from your stomach; you might not be registering fullness or satiety the same.

Finally, prices…let’s be realistic and admit that most of us are on a budget. Portion control is really what these 100 calorie things come down to and if you want to do the same (actually this is a great technique to keep you on the right track regardless) just bust out some plastic baggies and get to measuring. Check the nutritional stats of whatever food it is you want to eat and measure out a calorie specific amount. You just made what Nabisco or Doritos wanted to sell you in a slicked out version for the cost of a Ziplock. :)

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